By John Mott Coffey, with News Mississippi affiliate WQNZ
NATCHEZ, Miss.–The person elected today as Adams County’s next Youth Court judge will be overseeing the Juvenile Detention Center, where its former administrator has been charged with stealing money.
The Adams County Sheriff’s Office arrested Kevin Nations on Friday after a grand jury indicted him for embezzling more than $100,000 from the facility. Nations was initially charged in July. His prosecution was turned over to the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, which recently got an Adams County grand jury to indict him.
Walt Brown and Patricia Dunmore are seeking to succeed County Court and Youth Court Judge John Hudson, who’s not seeking re-election.
The judge oversees the juvenile justice facility.
“I don’t know what happened, but somebody was not watching something,” Dunmore said. “You’ve got to be able to manage your people. They have to report to you.”
However, “I don’t want to blame anybody because I don’t know the facts,” said Dunmore, who’s currently an Adams County Justice Court judge.
Funds allegedly stolen by Nations were reportedly paid to Adams County from other counties for housing their juveniles charged with crimes.
“I truly hope that we do not have to endure anymore setbacks such as the recent embezzlement by the former administrator,” Brown said. “To my knowledge, additional safeguards are now in place to prevent such an event from ever happening again. More stringent oversight of the funds coming into the facility should be in place.”
Brown is an assistant district attorney.
According to the indictment from the Circuit Court grand jury’s November term, Nations is charged with embezzling more than $100,000 as director of the Adams County Juvenile Detention Center from around Jan.1 through July.
The Adams County Board of Supervisors has said the amount stolen was about $165,000 or so that will be covered by insurance.
“I’m confident we’ll get fully reimbursed for it,” said board attorney Scott Slover.